Microsoft New Zealand has announced that Xbox 360 was the best-selling console during the competitive Christmas period of 2010, resulting in the Xbox division's best year to date.
According to a press release from Microsoft, Xbox 360 "bucked the trend in a market where total console sales declined year on year, showing 14 per cent increase in total sales from the previous year". The data has been compiled by independent market research group GfK Retail and Technology, Australia.
"The festive period is always the key indicator of whether or not you have connected with consumers and Christmas 2010 was a milestone year for Xbox," said David McLean, general manager of Xbox Australia and New Zealand. "Christmas sales are a telling time for future trends and gauging what's popular amongst consumers. With Kinect, we have changed the landscape of the gaming and entertainment industry. We have opened gaming to a new audience and essentially created a new genre in controller-free entertainment."
The results also showed a 37% increase in Xbox LIVE subscribers in New Zealand and a 75% increase in the number of hours spent on the service. According to internal Microsoft data, Kiwis have spent a total of approximately 30 million hours on Xbox LIVE.
It's worth mentioning, however, that both GfK Retail and Technology and the PR company representing iGEA are yet to respond to Game Console after we received reports that their retail data does not include figures from EB Games or The Warehouse. Game Console feels that the omission of these major retail chains calls the validity of the data into question, and we'll continue to seek clarification on this matter.
UPDATE - 11.44am: PR representatives for GfK Retail and Technology have responded to Game Console's inquiry regarding the inclusion of sales data from EB Games and The Warehouse. According to the agency:
"GfK data for New Zealand includes hardware sales only from The Warehouse and EB Games. However, GfK also has quite a sophisticated modeling system, which allows them to extrapolate software sales to give them a good indication of exact retail sales."
UPDATE - 1pm: Andrew Milgate, account manager for GfK Retail and Technology, has advised that The Warehouse does, in fact, provide both hardware and software figures for GfK's use. However, the policy of EB Games, in both Australia and New Zealand, has been stricly "hardware only" dating back to around 2005.